Developing a Tactical Approach to Social Media Marketing

What tactics will help me accomplish my goals?

The 5th Question in our 10 Essential Questions for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign sounds pretty straightforward. Because it is. And yet how many of us dive in without thinking of how we want to get where we’re going?

Let’s say your goal is to drive more people to your site where they can learn about your incredible service offering. What tactics will help?

Provide links that make people think. For example, I might post on Twitter and Facebook a link like this for a site we are launching: “Yellow page advertising not working anymore? What’s the next step? http://advancemy.biz” Curious aren’t you? That’s the goal. Make people curious enough to click through.  A network customer of ours, Denver Tux, might post something like “Guys, worried about what to wear to prom? www.denvertux.com”. Think about how you might do this for your business.

What if you’re selling a product? Tactics might include:

  • Post a video showing the product being used or installed to YouTube or Facebook.
  • Create a slideshow demonstrating how to use the product and upload it to www.slideshare.net.
  • Creating a Facebook fan page for just one popular product and inviting people to become fans.
  • Developing a routine so that every nth (9th or 5th or whatever seems right) post to your social media accounts is showing a different feature of your product.

Without developing your tactics beforehand though, you might find yourself adrift as you go from site to site trying out different things.

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Leveraging Your Physical Network in Social Media Marketing

How can I leverage my physical network to help in Social Media Marketing?

The 4th Question in our 10 Essential Questions for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign is a bit counter-intuitive in that we leave the cyber world for a bit. In your business or in your life you know people. Whether you’ve thought of them as your network or not, they are.

Now it is time to look at this network of business colleagues and friends and see how they can help you in your social media marketing. There are three easy ways you can leverage them without losing a friendship:

  1. Invite them to join your fan (company) page on Facebook.  By getting them to join you quickly appear bigger and when they join, each friends’ network will also be notified so you have the opportunity to connect with even more people. Having fans on Facebook is very much akin to having subscribers to your email list: they give you one more opportunity to get the word out.
  2. Follow them on Twitter. Most folks will follow you back. When I see a friend or colleague retweeting someone I’m not associated with, I’ll often check out their profile and end up following them. This gives you the opportunity again to be in front of more people. The next time you tweet about a special or event related to your business, more people will hear about it. Just make sure you return the favor by following your friends’ friends.
  3. On LinkedIn you can join the same groups. I connect with lots of folks on LinkedIn through shared groups and a natural group for me to belong to online is the same one I belong to offline: the West Chamber serving Jefferson County. I can see who else is in this group and if I know one of my connections that is a chamber member but not on the LinkedIn group, I reach out to them and encourage them to join. By helping them in the cyber world, I further cement our relationship in the physical world.

So as you enter into the Social Media Marketing world, don’t neglect your physical relationships and especially don’t neglect leveraging those relationships to take you further faster.

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Finding the Best Social Media Sites

What media (or sites) are best suited to my goal?

Once you have determined what your goals are, it is time to determine which social networking sites will best help you meet those goals. There are literally hundreds of social networking sites available to you. Outside of three or four though, they all are designed to serve specific niches. The major sites that are available are:

Facebook: Until recently we recommended Facebook primarily as a Business to Consumer web site for Social Media Marketing purposes. No longer. You can create your own “Page” for your business and invite your connections to become “Fans”. When they become a fan, it appears on their profile which can get others to join and so on. Once established, you have the ability to interact with your fans, through posts to the page, events, importing your blog feed, and starting discussions.

Facebook can also be very good if your business targets consumers. One colleague who runs a travel company simply posted on his account about an upcoming overseas trip and got several new customers. The power of searching and matching makes Facebook powerful indeed. The matching comes in when Facebook suggests people you might know or other things you might like. As a business, you can target that matching by the kinds of content you write about. You can also try the Facebook Ads to target consumers.

LinkedIn: This site is definitely a business to business web site. If your goal is hiring people, LinkedIn could be a very good resource. It can also be a great way to connect with people in your industry or market so if your goal is to stay abreast of trends and innovations in your market, LinkedIn could be a good fit. We have found LinkedIn to be a very good way to stay on top of trends but also to connect with potential clients and with power partners. If extending your network beyond your physical reach is a goal, then this would be a good way to attack it. Basically, LinkedIn is an ideal social media site if your target is other businesses. It might also be within your goal if you need ot interact with others in your market segment.

Twitter: Twitter is still just a baby but is growing quickly. As such it is difficult to have long term goals for what you want to accomplish via this site. Having said that, we recommend it for both B2B and B2C purposes. If your goal is to get more exposure and learn of the latest trends it can be very helpful. If even 1/10 of the folks who claim they’re making millions on Twitter are close to the truth, it can fit into a goal of increasing sales to consumers as well as reaching out to businesses and consultants that need your goods or services.

What other sites should you consider? Do a search for social networking websites and you’ll find plenty of places to start but some other large ones include Plaxo, MySpace, Meetup and Ning. Another class of social media is social bookmarking. Sites to consider for bookmarking are StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious and Technorati.

You can just jump in to Social Media Marketing but if you first determine your goals and then determine which sites will help you reach those goals, you will be more successful.

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Setting Goals for Social Media Marketing

Question 1 from 10 Essential Questions to Answer for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign:

What are my goals (What do I expect to get out of this)?

Often when talking to people about Social Media Marketing, I’m asked “how much time does it take?” To which I reply “What do you want to do?” It’s that simple really. That’s like asking the swimming coach how much time it will take to practice. Michael Phelps might get the answer of “8 hours a day” but for my daughter’s lessons, it might be “2 hours a week”. Are you going for multiple gold medals or are you going to learn the basics?

But of course many business owners are just beginning to wrap their heads around this thing called Social Media Marketing and what it means for their business. So what would be good goals? Here are some goals from clients that we’ve worked with:

  • I want to have more than 200 fans on my corporate Facebook page.
  • We will have a 30% increase in traffic to our web site through social media.
  • I will have 5 new customers a month through LinkedIn.
  • My workshops will expand from 15 people per workshop to 30 through social media marketing.
  • Online sales will increase 22% through our social media efforts.
  • I will double the number of subscribers to my newsletter.

Hopefully these goals will help you determine what your goals should be and then you’ll be able to consider strategies and tactics to go about meeting your goal.

What are my goals (What do I expect to get out of this)?

Often when talking to people about Social Media Marketing, I’m asked “how much time does it take?” To which I reply “What do you want to do?” It’s that simple really. That’s like asking the swimming coach how much time it will take to practice. Michael Phelps might get the answer of “8 hours a day” but for my daughter’s lessons, it might be “2 hours a week”. Are you going for multiple gold medals or are you going to learn the basics?

But of course many business owners are just beginning to wrap their heads around this thing called Social Media Marketing and what it means for their business. So what would be good goals? Here are some goals from clients that we’ve worked with:

· I want to have more than 200 fans on my corporate Facebook page.

· We will have a 30% increase in traffic to our web site through social media.

· I will have 5 new customers a month through LinkedIn.

· My workshops will expand from 15 people per workshop to 30 through social media marketing.

· Online sales will increase 22% through our social media efforts.

· I will double the number of subscribers to my newsletter.

Hopefully these goals will help you determine what your goals should be and then you’ll be able to consider strategies and tactics to go about meeting your goal.

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10 Essential Questions for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Everybody is all abuzz about Social Media Marketing Campaigns whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or some niche site that fits their needs. But we keep getting the same questions from customers and we basically turn the questions back around to ask them. Here are the questions that you should think through for your needs as you develop your plan. And of course, if you need help, give us a call at 303 268-2245.

Social Media Marketing Campaign Questions:

  1. What are my goals (What do I expect to get out of this)?
  2. What media (or sites) are best suited to my goal?
  3. How much time am I able or willing to spend on marketing?
  4. How can I use my physical network of contacts to help in Social Media Marketing(SMM)?
  5. What tactics will help me accomplish my goals?
  6. What niche social networking sites might be useful for my goals?
  7. What tools are available to make my time in SMM more efficient?
  8. How personal does the SOCIAL part need to be?
  9. How does my company reputation fit into SMM?
  10. How can I evaluate my SMM campaign?

By thinking through and writing down your answers to these questions, you’ll be able to keep a laser like focus on what you want to accomplish. It is important to do this so that  you don’t get sucked into the social vortex and find yourself spending all your time chatting with old high school friends or getting lost in the college daze.

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Twitter Success Story?

We resell the hosting services of a company called HostGator. We have used them for a couple of years and generally have found them to be quite good. We also talk about how to use Twitter for reputation management and customer satisfaction. So it was no surprise that I was following @hostgator on Twitter.

We recently finished a larger site that gets a lot of traffic and makes numerous calls to the database with each visit. For the first month, the site ran like a charm, with no errors. Then suddenly about three weeks ago, I came to work on a Monday and had an upset customer because none of the images were showing up. So I went to HostGator, they “resolved” the problem and, because of my questions and concerns, assured me it wouldn’t happen again.

And it didn’t happen again. Until the next weekend. On Monday I had a customer getting less patient with us. I turned to the HostGator online chat again and after they resolved the issue again “Oh, it was a different issue this time but we have definitely resolved it.” I was told. And it stayed resolved. Until the next weekend and on Monday, as I was going through the online chat, I also sent a tweet about my unhappiness with hostgator.

Soon I had a Twitter reply from @hostgator asking if they could be of assistance. After a couple of exchanges with @hostgator, I sent my ticket number. Within an hour I had both an email and a phone call from a level 3 technician at HostGator. He quickly helped me identify that the problem had not been resolved and that it was a coding issue that I needed to fix. I had asked, in each of my three chats with HostGator, if there was a problem on my end and had been assured that there was nothing I could or should do. Once I knew there was something I could do, I did it and had the issue fixed within a day.

This is definitely a Twitter success story. When working through normal channels I was not able to get my problem resolved. A few tweets later I was talking to someone who could actually identify the problem and point me towards a solution. Twitter is awesome and this is another example of how any company can use Twitter to monitor and maintain their reputation. But I have to say that HostGator let me down. I shouldn’t have had to start tweeting about this in the first place and I find it odd that I couldn’t get the support I needed from HostGator through their normal channels. Yet when I sent out a tweet, I was able to cut through the red tape and get right to the solution.

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Are you Linked In online?

LinkedIn is one of the largest business networking sites out there. Based on the premise that if I have 10 connections (people I know and network with) and each of those has 10 connections, I’m only one relationship away from 100 people.  If you have 100 connections and they have 100 connections each, well, you do the math.

So what all can you do on LinkedIn? You can connect with people, join virtual groups, many times they are virtual versions of physical networking groups. So this can be a great way to communicate between physical meetings. You can send or post reminders, share announcements and more. The benefit of doing this online is that you can reach a wider audience that might otherwise not know of your group.

If you’re looking for work, LinkedIn can be a great way to find the right job for you. There are hundreds of jobs posted but also by working your LinkedIn network, you can find opportunities that you would never know about through other ways. Through recommendations you can also let or encourage others brag about you.

Speaking of recommendations, this is another way to promote your business. Why “toot your own horn” when you have friends, customers and colleagues who are often more than happy to tout your benefits or service or value. Let word of mouth marketing work for you.

Spend a few minutes a day – literally just a few minutes, and you can build your network over a couple of weeks to the point where it can start working for you.

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Social Media Buzz

So you’re trying to grow your business and you keep hearing about Social Media and how you ought to be using it. But how? And how much time will it take? And what kind of results will you get?

Like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.  But let’s back up and talk about what Social Media is.  Essentially, Social Media is all about networking but doing it online instead of face to face. With that simple definition, you can see how things like blogs and forums can be classified as Social Media. But there is a classification of web site that is dedicated to this online networking amongst which we find sites such as: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even CraigsList.

Over the next several blogs we’ll take a look at these four and how you can use them for your business. Let’s start with one of my current favorites, Facebook. With Facebook you can build and maintain your brand. One easy way to do that is to create a Facebook Page for your business.  You can invite customers and potential customers to interact with you on your page. If you have any kind of event, you can invite others to the event all right through Facebook. Just like you have a physical brand with a sign or a logo, you can foster that brand through your own page on Facebook.

One of the major goals of any online campaign is to drive people to your web site. Once there, no matter what reason they clicked through to your site, you have the opportunity to connect them with a service or product that meets their needs. Since we’ve begun helping our customers with social media marketing, we’ve also “practiced what we preached” and are seeing a large increase in traffic to our site which translates to more business for us. Through Facebook you can send more people to your web site, reaching an audience that might not have know of you without Facebook. And this is true even for people that are right in your area.

One of the most exciting and amazing things is how you can connect and reconnect with others on the Internet. I might want to meet your accountant, for example, but not know that she is YOUR accountant.  We could know each other for a long time and that would never come up. But on the Internet I can click on your friends and see who they are and either ask you for the introduction or just connect with them directly. To some that sounds a bit scary. But it’s not. Its how social networking works.

So get started at Facebook. Looking for someone to connect with? I’ll be your friend. Look me up at http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-DeLaet/1133345182

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10. How Can I Use Word-Of-Mouth Marketing to Improve My Web Site?

The 10th question in our 10 questions to ask when you’re ready to take your site to the next level is probably THE most important question around today. Word of Mouth marketing. I’m a pretty good customer. When I’m happy with a business, I will go out of my way to tell others about it. During any given month I might tell five to ten others about a business I like.

But we can translate Word Of Mouth Marketing onto the web in all kinds of powerful ways. Welcome to Web 2.0 and in particular the social nature of 2.0. There are lots casino online wiesbadenbaccarat online spielecasino online gamekostenlose casino onlinegames roulette spielenwww slotsonline europa casinokostenlose online casinojack black downloadflash casino gamesroulette downloadenblack jack online spielecasino spiele online spielen,casino spielen,spielen im casinoroulette casinoscasino tropez bonusonline casino lastschriftcasino roulette spielinternet kasinocasino video pokerspiel erlebniskasino spielencasino spiele mit echtem geldonline spiel raumcasino online hamburgkasino comonline casino betrugkeno online spieleslot machinescasino online comcasino im internetcasino online liveroulette lernenblackjack spieleonline casino slotswww casino spiele deslot maschinen spielenkasino onlineonline kasino spielonline gewinnspieleparty casinoonline spiele automatengames roulette online spielengames roulette onlinecasino online no deposit bonuscasino spiele,kostenlose casino spiele,online kasino spielcraps spieleninternet gewinn spielslotmaschine spielengratis kasinofreeware spiele casino of ways you can interact with others on the Internet in a meaningful way. When I say meaningful, I mean actual interaction with others, not just logging on, spouting off your sales pitch and logging off.

Here are three sites you can log into, create a profile, and find others of similar interests:

  1. Facebook.com
  2. Myspace.com
  3. LinkedIn.com

Visit the sites above to connect with others. Make sure you spend FIVE minutes a day logging in and communicating.
Here are three sites that have a slightly different focus that those above but allow you to establish your expertise on a given subject:

  1. Propeller.com
  2. Squidoo.com
  3. Scribd.com

Take some time on a daily or weekly basis and share your knowledge with the world. And be bold about putting your name or site address or product out there as you write.

Here are three social bookmarking sites you can use to generate additional buzz about your posts in the links above and about your own site:

  1. Digg.com
  2. Reddit.com 
  3. Del.icio.us

At first some of this might seem a bit arcane but if you spend just a “wee bit” of time on this on a regular basis, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised to see how the traffic starts beating a path to your web site.

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